Interview with Kaya

interview - 28.03.2017 01:01

Now into his 11th year as a solo artist, visual kei diva Kaya speaks to JaME about his latest single and plans for this year.

Now into his 11th year as a solo artist, visual kei diva Kaya speaks to JaME about his latest single and plans for this year.

Hello Kaya! Thank you for accepting our interview. You just celebrated your 10th anniversary as a solo artist last year. Do you have any interesting or memorable 10th anniversary stories to share?

Kaya: In celebration of the 10th anniversary, I had the privilege of having a one-man live show at a beautiful venue called “ReNY”. I was able to have a memorable show thanks to the support of many people.

How would you describe the Kaya 11 years ago and the current Kaya? What's the greatest difference?

Kaya: I have become able to forgive more than I could before. I am more joyful and happier than I was 11 years ago!

You released a new single titled Yumeji on March 8th. What was the inspiration behind this single? Is there a message you wish to convey?

Kaya: The inspiration for Yumeji is the landscape of my hometown. I drew an archetypal landscape of my childhood with the song. The theme of Yumeji is “earth”. I envisioned a Mother Nature that is grand, warm yet tough at the same time when I sang the song. I finally became able to sing a song on such a grand scale that is full of kindness after all the long years of my journey as a singer. I think Yumeji is an important turning point in my career as a singer.

Frosty Rain, the B-side on Yumeji, is a duet with singer-songwriter Suzuki Yume. She also composed the single's title track. How did this collaboration with Suzuki Yume come about?

Kaya: I was a fan of Suzuki Yume when I was a student. Suzuki Yume happened to hear about me by chance, and actually liked me. It was such an honor. It still feels as if it was a dream even till this day.

How was working with Suzuki Yume like?

Kaya: I am happy just to be able to create songs with the artist I always admired. Suzuki Yume places a high importance on sensibility and intuition in creating her work. That actually made my collaboration with her so fun because I also prioritize such qualities over tempo and chord progression when I create my own work. She takes a very different approach from me when it comes to singing, but this difference is what made a duet with her inspiring to me.

The CD jacket artwork for Yumeji is a little different from your previous releases. Please tell us more about its design.

Kaya: Art Nouveau is the concept of the CD jacket artwork for Yumeji. I wanted to try a new artistic expression as I already featured Rococo, gothic and oriental styles as well as Japonism in the past. The musical themes of the song are “earth” and “nature”, while the lyrics describe the landscape I grew up in. So, I thought Art Nouveau would well suit the gentle images the song would convey. Alfons Mucha is a famous Art Nouveau artist and I love his works a lot. So, I decided to feature his style of drawing for the CD jacket artwork.

What are some of the themes or ideas you'd like to explore in future releases?

Kaya: Yumeji is a reflection of my soul and who I actually am. Since Yumeji is such a benevolent song, I would love to create aggressive works like I did before! (laughs)

You'll go on a one-man tour titled Dream after Dream in March. What is the concept of this tour?

Kaya: I will make the overall content of this tour such that the audience would feel “gentle darkness” because Yumeji is such a grand and warm song. Also, I would like to revisit the decade of my solo career through this tour because I only did few shows last year even though 2016 was the actual 10th anniversary.

On March 8th, you held an acoustic live with Mogamigawa Tsukasa as a guest. What prompted you to do a live with him?

Kaya: Unlike many bands in the visual kei scene, I’m a solo artist who uses recorded music. I even sing chanson. I’ve always wanted to collaborate with Mogamigawa Tsukasa because he has such a unique musical career of being a Japanese enka singer as well as the drummer of a visual kei band. The live was as fantastic as I imagined! I would love to work with him again.

What are your plans for 2017?

Kaya: This year, I would like to try things I have not been able to do yet, such as sing without make-up, have a one-man show in a new place, have a dramatic reading show and organize a club event. I will make my 2017 a year of challenge!

Any plans to go on an overseas tour in the near future?

Kaya: I’ve always had shows overseas every year until last year. I would like to do more shows overseas again from this year! I am hoping to visit Europe and South America again where I have not been able to go to for the last couple of years. Right now, I am researching many companies as I need an organizer to actualize an overseas tour. If you happened to be a booking organizer reading this interview, please invite Kaya to your country! (laughs)

To wrap up our interview, please say a few words to JaME readers.

Kaya: Thank you for your unchanging support for me. Your comments on my Twitter and Instagram always encourage me a lot. This time, I came up with a new song that has a different feel from my previous works. This song is so benevolent and I like it very much. Please listen to Yumeji. Also, I would love to have shows overseas again! Please continue to support me. With love.

JaME would like to thank Kaya for this interview opportunity.

Watch the MV spot for Yumeji below:

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